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Premiere: Breakdown Valentine - Haunted Punx

It´s always a pleasure to premiere new music and this premiere is no less exciting than any other. The San Francisco based electro-art pop band, Breakdown Valentine has released a new song in celebration of the Halloween season. It´s never to late to indulge in some spooky new tunes...well, maybe there´s a cut off line, but today is not that day!

Enjoy Breakdown Valentine´s brand new track, Haunted Punx!

After some time of keeping away from the limelight, we're revving up for a fun release set for Halloween... We'll be releasing an indie electro-art-pop song that's a bit different from our usual pop-structured material. We're still finalizing mixes for an upcoming second EP, but for now the track HAUNTED PUNX is the new release set for Halloween. - Olivia of Breakdown Valentine

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Dark Dream Your Way Through Fall with Rikroshi

We don't know all too much about what the debut album from duo Rikroshi (formerly Bells and Parks) will be like outside of the info on their Indiegogo page (the campaign wrapped up in June), but if the one available single "Watercolor" is anything to go by, winter 2015 is gonna bring us one hell of a dark, beautifully sulky album. This track is a bit gothy/new wave gloom and a bit of a melody that sounds somewhat folk-Asian inspired, and yet it isn't afraid to really slam on some heavy-ass, big-chord guitar work. The high-pitched wandering voice of singer Tessa Bennecht and said slamming guitar noise complement each other very nicely in "Watercolors," which, as the season changes to something darker and more introspective, feels very apropos to this time of year. It even has a bit of the bittersweetness of the upcoming season that isn't all shadows and cold, but sometimes is bright and cheery as well, when at the end of the track it goes major for just a few fleeting seconds to fade out on a positive note. It's intriguing stuff from an artist pair in the midst of transition, and it feels just right as our world too transitions in these dusky months. Listen below, and get in the darkmonth mood.

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Wander the Weird World of Shmu in This Psychedelic Album/Video Game Mashup

Here’s a bit of a fun (and odd) one for you strangeness-loving musicheads out there in Austin-town this Halloween: quirky experimental musician and Zorch-member Shmu has just put out a quite fun album of his layered, colorful music called Shhhh! (which we’ll get to reviewing in full sometime soon), and alongside it he’s released a free compuoter game of the same name to accompany the album proper! This kind-of welcome cross-platform, multi-sensual experience seems to be a bit of a trend with the more boundary-pushing musicians of the day (one of our favorite rappers Malik did something similar not long ago), and it’s one we welcome with gamin’ fingers and music-eatin’ ears at the ready.

In the case of Shmu’s digital package (heh…heh), a quick jaunt through the game appears to say that it’s a kind-of psychedelic post-modern walkabout through a bizarre garden that looks like it was created by shoving the internet in the 90s, the old exploration/puzzle game Myst, a whole lot of high-quality drugs and the music of Shmu together into a digital blender. This game would be what popped out the other end of that imaginary machine, and the gameplay in my experience so far is of the first-person “explore this weird, but peaceful world,” art-piece-style genre (but which has shooter controls in its settings, so presumably at some point there be somethin’ to shoot at).

Shhhh! the game is utterly the perfect atmosphere within which to experience the deep dream pop music of Shmu, and it’s free for both Mac and PC here, so if gettin’ a bit weird with your music-listening appeals to you, this is right up your oddball alley. Also, give one of excellent tracks from the album below to getcha in the weirdness-explorin' mindset while the game download settles its strange self right on into your 'puterin machine.

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Dirty Ghosts + Kelley Stoltz Double Album Release at Brick & Mortar - 11/7

We´re excited to announce a great upcoming Bay Area based double album release show! The San Francisco based electro indie pop band, Dirty Ghosts will be celebrating the release of their new album, Let It Pretend (you can stream the album here) which was released on October 2nd through Last Gang Records.

Any time a punk band starts experimenting, that’s the era of the band that I love,” remarks Dirty Ghosts guitarist and songwriter Allyson Baker while discussing the genesis of Let It Pretend, the band’s forthcoming sophomore effort.

The San Francisco based pop artist, Kelley Stoltz plans to release a whopping three albums: In Triangle Time (out on Castle Face Records on Nov. 6th), 4 Cuts and The Scuzzy Inputs Of Willie Weird (out on Stroll On Records on October 30th). You can listen to a track from each album here.

"All were being written at the same time, basically. And they came out at the same time to coincide with my being booked at the Purple Weekend Festival in Spain this December. Since there was a tour planned, it made sense to get them all done in time for that. I started the Willie Weird album first as a way of escaping myself, after lots of songwriting and touring in 2013 and 2014. It was a strict set of rules type album - randomly selecting the beats-per-minute, writing a bassline first, embracing sound plug-ins, and using one white Stratocaster. I tried to write that from a joyful, humorous place rather than one of lonesome troubador as I usually do. I'd suggest playing all three of them at once." - Kelley Stoltz on his three new releases.

Don´t miss this once in a life time Bay Area event! Head down to Brick and Mortar Music Hall on November 7th!

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Toronto band on the rise: Highs

One of Toronto's bands on the rise (it's not an accident that they are on our chart of Top 15 emerging local artists) HIGHS play a rhythmic, bouncy version of ambient pop-rock, inundated with beautiful harmonies and a playful rhythm section. In their debut, self titled EP HIGHS consistently utilizes a high energy, mellow vibe to bring the fun, blending in a soca beat to bring the danceability that can keep a room pulsating. Opening track Summer Dress (streaming) does that to perfection. Third song “Harvest” - on the other hand - introduces a slower beat, a soft atmosphere and a great build, and acts as a pace break between the other faster songs, emphasizing the space and harmonies and functioning as a beautiful centerpiece to the EP. If you're looking to maintain a summertime frame of mind into the upcoming winter, these songs are the perfect soundtrack. - Cody Wright

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